(full site)
Fark.com

Back To Main
   France's president says homework "penalizes students with difficult home lives." So clearly, the solution is to help improve the home life. Wait, no, it's getting rid of homework entirely

02 Dec 2012 12:18 PM   |   3776 clicks   |   NPR
Showing 1-50 of 227 comments
Refresh Page 2
View Comments:
FishyFred     
This is not necessarily a FAIL. This is not a new concept. It just hasn't been tried much (if at all) since the beginning of the Cold War.

02 Dec 2012 11:24 AM
vpb    [TotalFark]  
"The French are discovering - to their horror - that their performance internationally has been declining over the last 10 years. The French actually are performing [worse] than the Americans in reading and science," he says.

Then they had better try something and fast.

02 Dec 2012 11:29 AM
Eddie Adams from Torrance    [TotalFark]  
Assigned homework is bullshiat.
If they can't fit all of the learnin they need into an 8 hour day then they're not doing it right.

02 Dec 2012 11:40 AM
Marcus Aurelius    [TotalFark]  
If the teacher can't finish the job in school, then the school day needs to be extended. Take-home homework is mostly to punish the parents. I can see it for math and reading and possibly writing. All the rest of it is complete horseshiat.

02 Dec 2012 11:40 AM
Snarfangel    [TotalFark]  
Parents in good homes will give their children interesting and educational things to do with their time, and the cycle of inequality will continue.

Maybe we can hire people to disrupt those with easy home lives.

02 Dec 2012 11:50 AM
Marcus Aurelius    [TotalFark]  

Snarfangel: Parents in good homes will give their children interesting and educational things to do with their time


The rest will be spent on homework.

02 Dec 2012 11:52 AM
BumpInTheNight     
It's 5:30 p.m. and getting dark outside, as kids pour out of Gutenberg Elementary School in Paris 15th arrondissement.

5:30pm let-out time? Whew things have changed.

02 Dec 2012 12:21 PM
Abox     
When I was real little and my brother had homework, I was jealous of the attention he got when he would spaz out over it. But when I finally had homework I thought it sucked. Forty years later I still think it sucks.

02 Dec 2012 12:23 PM
RandomExcess     
The problem is not assigning homework, it is grading it. If you cannot determine the appropriate grade based on in class performance (outside projects/term papers) then you are doing it wrong. So assign all the homework you want, and the student should do as much as they want, but grading it is for losers.

02 Dec 2012 12:25 PM
Ed Willy     
Actually, trying to fix the circle of poverty and bad home life is much harder for the government to do. Government and schools alone cannot fix the bad thinking patterns that trap people in a cycle of shiat jobs and poor decisions.

02 Dec 2012 12:25 PM
nmemkha     
We need to return to actually teaching critical thinking and imparting knowledge rather than rote memorization to pass standardized tests.

02 Dec 2012 12:25 PM
spawn73     
A 20 year old mother with a 7 year old son.

Urgh.

02 Dec 2012 12:25 PM
links136     
Will intelligence only be judged on repetition and memorization? Will we still force everyone to learn at the same speed even though we learn at different ones? Are people that are supposed to be learning trades left to die and join gangs like they always do?

02 Dec 2012 12:25 PM
APE992    [TotalFark]  

Eddie Adams from Torrance: Assigned homework is bullshiat.
If they can't fit all of the learnin they need into an 8 hour day then they're not doing it right.


I've always felt that homework was to force kids to spend time outside of class doing what they should've done inside. If you do math outside of class you may have NOBODY to ask for help with and most math books are written from the perspective of someone writing a math book rather than someone wanting to learn math. I get that you need practice to reinforce math but math isn't something you can go ask grandma about. History paper? Damn right Grandma is a 1st hand source of information.

I've had professors who use shiatty books to try to reinforce what they teach in class. What they teach in class may amount to 75% of what is in the book and they never test or even talk about that last 25% but damn if you don't need to read everything and pray you learned enough to pass a test (Hint: I didn't because this method sucks). Then on top of it all the book is written in a perspective of being a seasoned engineer and fark you if you don't understand what it says.

Then there is the whole writing paper thing that never made sense to me. Most people don't spend their lives writing proposals, dissertations, so I've never understood why high school kids have to write essays comparing/contrasting two books with their teacher offering vague feedback that doesn't really direct how to improve your thought processes to write a better paper later.

02 Dec 2012 12:26 PM
Arkanaut    [TotalFark]  

BumpInTheNight: It's 5:30 p.m. and getting dark outside, as kids pour out of Gutenberg Elementary School in Paris 15th arrondissement.

5:30pm let-out time? Whew things have changed.


Hmm... I thought he was exaggerating, but if their school day is that long then throwing extra homework on top of that is kinda messed up. I wonder if they have study hall?

02 Dec 2012 12:27 PM
cryinoutloud     
Well, it does.

02 Dec 2012 12:28 PM
links136     

Ed Willy: Actually, trying to fix the circle of poverty and bad home life is much harder for the government to do. Government and schools alone cannot fix the bad thinking patterns that trap people in a cycle of shiat jobs and poor decisions.


What, you think schools don't have any affect on thinking patterns?

02 Dec 2012 12:28 PM
Eddie Adams from Torrance    [TotalFark]  

nmemkha: We need to return to actually teaching critical thinking and imparting knowledge rather than rote memorization to pass standardized tests.


You want Americans to be able to THINK?
That's just crazy talk.

02 Dec 2012 12:28 PM
BumpInTheNight     

Arkanaut: BumpInTheNight: It's 5:30 p.m. and getting dark outside, as kids pour out of Gutenberg Elementary School in Paris 15th arrondissement.

5:30pm let-out time? Whew things have changed.

Hmm... I thought he was exaggerating, but if their school day is that long then throwing extra homework on top of that is kinda messed up. I wonder if they have study hall?


Yah seriously eh? I figure homework is to let the students practice what the teacher taught them over what (I remember) being a 6 hour day. 8 hours a day is plenty time to devote their life to a particular goal. This feels out of whack with the traditional french culture towards work/life balance but I'm too lazy to google it :P

02 Dec 2012 12:32 PM
cptjeff    [TotalFark]  
How 'bout this: more serious assignments that actually engage students (papers and the like), less make work assignments. You're in the classroom for what, 30, 40 hours a week? Which is what, three times what you spend in college?

Yeah, additional take home work after that is a crock. Stop using homework as a crutch for your shiatty teaching, it just punishes kids and generally adds very little to their understanding. Kids need practice sets in math? Have them do them in class once a week. With you, the teacher, there to help them out right when they need you, as every study ever done on the matter says is much more effective than having them struggle on their own at home. Need them to dedicate significant time to writing a 5 page paper? Okay, have them put together an outline in class, but you can send that one home. But there's no justification for the routine time suck that a lot of homework has become.

02 Dec 2012 12:33 PM
jaybeezey     

links136: Will intelligence only be judged on repetition and memorization? Will we still force everyone to learn at the same speed even though we learn at different ones? Are people that are supposed to be learning trades left to die and join gangs like they always do?


We can only hope. If those kid learn construction trades what are all the immigrants going to do for work?

Why do you hate brown people?

02 Dec 2012 12:33 PM
LegoLewdite     
Who does homework at home anyway? That stuff is for home room... Or my 2nd period assignments would be done during 1st period's lecture, 3rd period's work done in second, and so on.

/straight As first five periods
//failed last period

02 Dec 2012 12:34 PM
Prof. Frink     

Abox: When I was real little and my brother had homework, I was jealous of the attention he got when he would spaz out over it. But when I finally had homework I thought it sucked. Forty years later I still think it sucks.


Maybe you should finally finish it so you can finally graduate?

02 Dec 2012 12:36 PM
signaljammer     
This is true. My mom smoked up the house and there weren't enough desks for the kids in it. My narcissistic-narcissistic mom and manic-depressive dad were always raving in it. Anyway, physiologically, even most adults are only capable of five hours of concentration a day, tops.

02 Dec 2012 12:37 PM
Brontes    [TotalFark]  

links136: Ed Willy: Actually, trying to fix the circle of poverty and bad home life is much harder for the government to do. Government and schools alone cannot fix the bad thinking patterns that trap people in a cycle of shiat jobs and poor decisions.

What, you think schools don't have any affect on thinking patterns?


Math class word problems should consist of: Jenny has a kid at 16 that costs $5000 in hospital bills. She has to pay $50 a day to feed and cloth the child. Her baby daddy makes $5.50 at McDonalds and works 30 hours a week. How much does their life suck? What if they had waited 10 years?

02 Dec 2012 12:37 PM
vermicious k'nid     
Homework is a failed throwback from the 1800s. Get rid of it already.

02 Dec 2012 12:38 PM
Portia     
Keep in mind that some districts mandate homework. My district requires a minimum of 3 homework assignments per week per class. As the teacher I wouldn't choose to do that if I had any say in the matter.

02 Dec 2012 12:39 PM
haws83     

RandomExcess: The problem is not assigning homework, it is grading it. If you cannot determine the appropriate grade based on in class performance (outside projects/term papers) then you are doing it wrong. So assign all the homework you want, and the student should do as much as they want, but grading it is for losers.


I would think that in most cases, the teacher knows what grade a student gets regardless of homework. Students at that age need to see immediate consequences of their work. They can do that if they see an A or an F on the top of a page. College kids know that they need to study to succeed, but elementary school children are incapable of that kind of long term thinking, so you need to give them that checkpoint.

For some kids, homework is probably unnecessary, but will vary student to student, and likely subject to subject. A kid may need that additional exercise in math, but be totally fine in history. Unfortunately, with 30+ kids in a class, that individualized approach would be impossible.

02 Dec 2012 12:40 PM
rytisg     
homework was useless. i never "learned" anything while doing homework. the real use for homework was reading textbooks or lit books, since they never gave you time in school to actually read them in their entirety. of course to make sure you read your textbook, you would have to answer questions on a quiz, or write a paper. by high school my idea of homework was finding someone who i could copy the answers from during homeroom. and thankfully by college most professors stopped that bull shiat and only gave reading assignments, which were cool by me.

02 Dec 2012 12:41 PM
rjakobi     
Subby, you want the French Government to legislate morality to its citizens? Have you even TALKED to a Frenchman?

02 Dec 2012 12:41 PM
cptjeff    [TotalFark]  

APE992: Then there is the whole writing paper thing that never made sense to me. Most people don't spend their lives writing proposals, dissertations, so I've never understood why high school kids have to write essays comparing/contrasting two books with their teacher offering vague feedback that doesn't really direct how to improve your thought processes to write a better paper later.


A hell of a lot of people spend a lot of time and effort writing stuff like grant proposals. Scientists do, anybody in the nonprofit world begging for money does, people in any sort of business looking to get a project started need to be able to argue their case. And even if you don't write often, being able to coherently express yourself in the English language is an incredibly valuable, and, among certain technical classes, vanishingly rare skill.

And writing papers forces you to build an argument, and learn how to use evidence to support that argument. The feedback isn't the point so much as the practice is. The subject matter is really quite irrelevant, it's the process of writing and argumentation that's important. We use literature to teach those skills because literature offers interesting insights into our culture and society, which are damn good things to understand. It's also supposed to be interesting to read. We also teach those skills in history and civics class, and a good science teacher should assign some writing on occasion as well.

02 Dec 2012 12:43 PM
EkimProx     
My issue isn't necessarily with homework as a whole. It's when kids move on from elementary school and start having multiple teachers, all of which assign projects and assignments at the same time. I finished high school in 2005, and in all seriousness, it was worse than university in regards to the work load.

Maybe they should just limit teachers to the amount of homework they can hand out per year. An 8-hour school day can quickly turn into a 12-hour one -- now imagine that every weekday. It takes its toll on people.

It's not like they're getting paid to go to school...

02 Dec 2012 12:43 PM
BigLuca     

nmemkha: We need to return to actually teaching critical thinking and imparting knowledge rather than rote memorization to pass standardized tests.


02 Dec 2012 12:45 PM
maggoo     
France is going down the crapper with their bullshiat socialist government. They are even threatening Arcelor-Mittal with stealing their french assets from them if they fire french workers from their foundries in france. What a bunch of idiots.

02 Dec 2012 12:45 PM
maggoo     

cryinoutloud: Well, it does.


The thing is, without homework their lives will still be as miserable as before. Hence, they solve nothing.

02 Dec 2012 12:46 PM
maggoo     

vermicious k'nid: Homework is a failed throwback from the 1800s. Get rid of it already.


Exactly, just like the concept of hard work paying back those who invest in it, and that those who make an effort are better rewarded than those who slack around.

02 Dec 2012 12:47 PM
zcat     
Some topics/skills require sitting down and reading or practicing for long periods of time.

That isn't going to stop any time soon.

02 Dec 2012 12:50 PM
Erom     
Wow, amazed that the attitude is anti-homework here. If I didn't have homework in school, I would have been absolutely worthless in college. Homework is a great character builder and teaches kids that life can suck sometimes.

02 Dec 2012 12:53 PM
LiberalEastCoastElitist     

cptjeff: Kids need practice sets in math? Have them do them in class once a week.


You can not properly teach math with one practice set per week. No way. They would be struggling to maintain what they were already taught.

cptjeff: But there's no justification for the routine time suck that a lot of homework has become.


Sure there is. The school district can't afford the 1:1 attention each kid needs, so they send Junior home with homework and recruit the parent's help. This is part of the reason why kids with educated parents and a stable household do better in school. They can't shorten the school day in light of this either, because working class people are basically depending on public school for daycare purposes.

02 Dec 2012 12:55 PM
Coming on a Bicycle     
Typical socialist - everyone has to be the same. And because the only relevant exception is in the direction of smart, we all have to be dumb.

02 Dec 2012 12:55 PM
Fark_Guy_Rob     
More and more it seem school is just day-care and the homework is meant to be the learning?

I've known medical students, veterinary students, and engineers who spend significantly less time in class than a 2nd grader. I'm not really sure what kids are doing in school all day, but I'm pretty sure it's not really learning in the traditional sense.

At most universities a 'full-time' student is one who will have '15-credit hours' and that should translate, roughly, into 15 hours in class, each week. That's roughly *three hours* per day. And this is for serious university types.

02 Dec 2012 12:56 PM
megarian    [TotalFark]  
I had hours upon hours of homework throughout school. I was not very good at math, so I spent at least an hour or two a night on math alone. I think homework made me more diciplined and focused, but I can see how it would backfire for others. Homework prepared me for AP classes in highschool (which has nothing to do with how one does in colleges... So there's that).

/mixed feelings on this
//I need an adult

02 Dec 2012 12:57 PM
Kuroutesshin     
Everyone is biatching about math homework, but reading assignments, essays, and other activities to be done on your own are really important teaching reinforcement tools. shiatty teachers working out of a book might assign homework, but other teachers use homework to reinforce what they've already done.

I'm an ESL teacher in China, and when I have the resources to assign homework (most colleges make you pay for photocopies) it's a really good way for me to assess individual students and help them reinforce what we're doing in class time, since the only time they'll use English is during their two-hour class periods with me.

of course, the biggest difference between Chinese students and Western students is that the Chinese memorize EVERYTHING. There isn't critical analysis because they're tested on rote knowledge, not critical skills. Homework is important because it takes what you use in-class and apply it outside of class to complete an assignment by yourself. some homework is shiatty but homework in general is a really useful tool.

02 Dec 2012 12:57 PM
cptjeff    [TotalFark]  

Erom: Wow, amazed that the attitude is anti-homework here. If I didn't have homework in school, I would have been absolutely worthless in college. Homework is a great character builder and teaches kids that life can suck sometimes.


Ah, character building. The traditional excuse given when you have no good reason, but want a kid to do something anyway.

I did find in college after blowing off a pretty fair amount of homework in school prior. I had simply learned early to distinguish between what was important for me to understand the material and bullshiat make work.

02 Dec 2012 12:58 PM
ApatheticMonkey     
For all of you farkers who think that homework is unnecessary and useless, I'd like you to go do something. Go find yourself a teacher that operates outside of a school environment - a sports coach, or a piano teacher or something. Now make your same argument to them, but replace "homework" with "practice".

And essays and disserations teach us to use critical thinking and be able to back up our statements and arguments using facts and the opinions of credible sources. Otherwise, we'll all end up like that "study it out" lady.

02 Dec 2012 01:04 PM
Kuroutesshin     

cptjeff: Erom: Wow, amazed that the attitude is anti-homework here. If I didn't have homework in school, I would have been absolutely worthless in college. Homework is a great character builder and teaches kids that life can suck sometimes.

Ah, character building. The traditional excuse given when you have no good reason, but want a kid to do something anyway.

I did find in college after blowing off a pretty fair amount of homework in school prior. I had simply learned early to distinguish between what was important for me to understand the material and bullshiat make work.


Yeah, learning how to manage a deadline, prioritize work, and complete assigned tasks in adolescence is a complete waste of time. Not only that, but making students apply what they've learned in class to homework in order to reinforce lessons is stupid, kids automatically remember everything they learned when the bell sounds at 3:00.

02 Dec 2012 01:05 PM
ryant123    [TotalFark]  

Erom: Wow, amazed that the attitude is anti-homework here. If I didn't have homework in school, I would have been absolutely worthless in college. Homework is a great character builder and teaches kids that life can suck sometimes.


I think that entirely depends on the character of the homework. I don't remember much from elementary school or junior high that I considered particularly helpful or useful. High school was a different ballgame, though my experience there might not be representative of most other high school students. I was in the IB program (roughly like AP) and having shiat-tons of homework there actually did help prepare me for University. Also helpful was that most of my teachers had masters degrees in their subject area, were competent, and didn't assign work that was inane and completely pointless.

02 Dec 2012 01:06 PM
Cheery Pi     
I have 3 kids in grades 3-6. Personally I wish they had more homework. Yes, it sucks for me to spend all day working & coming home to homework, but it gives me a chance to help them learn & think. Its waaay better than the kids sitting around watching tv or whatnot. Im sure it will change soon, once they get older, but you cant learn everything in class. Too many distractions & zero 1-on-1 time if youre struggling in anything.

02 Dec 2012 01:08 PM
edmo    [TotalFark]  
Hero tag? Homework is a concept mostly practiced in America. Of course our record of generating 100% super geniuses dictates we should keep doing it, amirite?

Homework was graded in high school but I blew it off. Still passed. I didn't learn much there but still went to college based on ACT scores. Had plenty of homework in college (not graded) and graduated. College homework seemed to matter; it related to learning. Not so with high school or grade school busy work in my experience.

Kids don't like doing it. Teachers hate grading it. And it seems parents are doing most of it. Why don't we just shut down this national joke?

02 Dec 2012 01:10 PM
AutumnWind     
I don't remember anything from homework I had to do. So I guess it didn't help me at all. We did have a few projects we had to do at home that were fun and I remember those.

02 Dec 2012 01:10 PM
Showing 1-50 of 227 comments
Refresh Page 2
View Comments:
This thread is closed to new comments.


Back To Main

More Headlines:
Main | Sports | Business | Geek | Entertainment | Politics | Video | FarkUs | Contests | Fark Party | Combined